Whales, Dolphins and a Basking Shark

2016 06-25 SB Channel

Not far offshore Captain Dave and the Condor Express crew located a nice batch of at least 6 humpback whales with more in the area, as well as a wonderful 1,000-strong group of long-beaked common dolphins.  The entire biomass was on the move and at times the humpback whales surfaced near the boat and joined the friendly dolphins.  Dave then  pushed on to the south intending on finding larger species where we’ve had them all month long.

The course was interrupted for a while in The Lanes as a rare encounter with a very large group of at least 150 offshore bottlenose dolphins took place.  These large dolphins (compared to the commons) are not often seen this far west in the Santa Barbara Channel.  Thus it was a wonderful chance for good looks and selfies before our course heading was resumed.

A total of three giant blue whales (with more spouts all around) were located just north of The Ledge and south of The Lanes.  One of the blue whales showed its tail fluke frequently, and is probably one of the notched-tail animals I reported and photographed on June 6 and June 22.  What’s with these notches?  They seem to be not round but V-shaped and slender which might suggest to some experts they are not bite wounds.   More work needs to be done to identify the cause of these notches and perhaps prevent them from occurring.

Not long after the blue whales were located we had another unique and fantastic sighting.  A small 10 or 12-foot long basking shark cruised alongside the Condor on the surface.  Again, there were great looks to be had as this plankton-eating fish got friendly.

On the way back home,  yet another humpback whale put the icing on the cake.  Wow!

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express


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